If you’ve recently held a fundraiser or donation drive, you hopefully received a lot of one-time donations from new donors. This is fantastic, but the next step is turning a single donation into an ongoing source of reliable revenue for your nonprofit because while the average one-time gift is $128 to a nonprofit, the average monthly donation is $52, or $624 per year. That’s a pretty sizable difference, so to help you, we are sharing six ways you can build relationships with donors and turn a single gift into recurring donations.

Reach Out Personally to New Donors

When someone donates to your nonprofit for the first time, or the first time in a very long time, reach out to them personally. This helps form a relationship between your organization and the donor, building trust and amity. It could be something as simple as a handwritten “Thank You” card, or it could be a story about what donations like theirs mean to your foundation. This touchpoint is solely meant to be a true thank you that builds a relationship, so you don’t need to discuss an additional donation or monthly donation here.

Share a Success Story from Your Organization

Stories are powerful tools for nonprofits. It’s one thing to share a bunch of statistics or even talk about the thousands of people in need. However, humans are actually less likely to respond to the idea of an overwhelming need because they are more likely to feel like they can’t make a difference and large numbers feel abstract to the average person.

Instead, showing one story about an individual or a family makes your cause feel tangible. And if you’re reconnecting with a one-time donor, showing a success story of your nonprofit means that their money can make a difference because your organization is making a difference.

Describe Where the Money Goes

In order to transition someone to monthly giving, they need to know where their money goes. You don’t need to give a breakdown of their exact donation, of course, just what kind of impact their gift has made. For example, if your organization is a food pantry, and a donor gave $50, show them what $50 means in your organization and how far it can go. When people see concrete information combined with a compelling human-centered story, they’re more likely to want to continue to be a part of this. You can also show exactly how far each dollar goes so people with limited means won’t feel like a $10 monthly donation isn’t worth giving.

Change Your Language When Asking for Monthly Donations

Most nonprofits have a place where people can donate that is either a box marked “One-time donation of” and a second box marked “Make my donation monthly.” Instead, try a more dynamic, persuasive voice for your monthly donation option. Try, “Change lives every month with a recurring donation of…” or “Make 12 times the impact with a monthly donation…”

Incentivize Monthly Donations

You have to make your one-time donors want to become monthly donors, and sometimes the best way is to incentivize monthly donations. Some nonprofit organizations, like PBS and NPR, give gifts to people who pledge a monthly donation. Others have a tiered program for givers and will add their names to their websites or social media (with donor permission of course).

Nurture Donors At Every Stage

In most cases, it requires work to nurture donors from a one-time gift to becoming regular donors and you don’t want to send the same campaign to everyone because different donors may be at different stages with you. For example, one donor may have just received a thank you card for their first donation whereas another donor may have given their seventh donation over five years. You would communicate to these donors in different ways, and to do this, you need a CRM specifically designed for nonprofits.

Raiser’s Edge NXT, by Blackbaud is highly customizable fundraising and relationship management software that helps you with donor management, segementing your lists, and so much more. Plus, it integrates with Financial Edge NXT, the nonprofit accounting software to make it easier to see how much and how often donors give.

Learn More About Raiser’s Edge Nonprofit Software

We work with nonprofits around the country, connecting them with the right software solutions to better meet their needs as well as train them how to get the best use of their software. To learn about which software solutions are right for you, reach out to us today at 888-249-6008 or fill out our contact form.